CBC no longer to bid on professional sports

CBC/ Radio-Canada is facing large cuts to their sports department

CBC/ Radio-Canada is facing large cuts to their sports department

CBC/Radio-Canada announced on Thursday that they will no longer bid on professional sporting events.

The organization announced they will cut $130 million from their budget and 657 jobs in the 2014/2015 broadcast schedule.

“As of today, CBC and Radio Canada is out of the business of competing with the private (broadcasters) for professional sports,”¬†network president Hubert Lacroix, who is featured in the upcoming issue of Canadian Running, told employees in town hall meeting.

“We will only consider broadcasting an event that will allow us to at least cover our costs. In light of these decisions, we are substantially reducing the size of our sports department in both CBC and Radio-Canada.”

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The organization also announced that it will have less of a focus on amateur sports. It’s unclear how the cuts will affect the broadcasting of road running, and track and field in Canada.¬†The removal of professional sports may free up programming space for amateur events, but those may also be on the chopping block.

The network, which is a crown corporation, has in the past aired the international Diamond League circuit events and most years airs a condensed version of the Canadian track and field championships. They have also aired world cross-country championship events in the past.

In a statement, the network noted they will still bid on Olympics and other events of “national importance.” In 2012, CTV held broadcast rights to the Olympics in Canada, but CBC holds the broadcast rights to the 2016 Games in Rio.

Before the coming cuts, CBC has just under 7,000 permanent employees, 859 contract employees and 329 temporary workers.